Scope and Contents
The papers document the work of independent inventor John G. Vasquez and include drawings, sketches, correspondence, notebooks, photographs, and a prototype of Vasquez's invention, the Magnetic Retainer.
Series 1, Inventions and Ideas, 1942-2005, is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1, Chronological, 1942-2005 and Subseries 2, Miscellaneous, 1948-2003. The majority of the inventions and ideas consist of one file folder per invention/idea and contain sketches and/or notes. Many of the inventions/ideas are signed and dated by Vasquez. The random ideas folder contains a letterhead for "John G. Vasquez, inventor, designer of practical ideas for improved living." Subseries 2, Miscellaneous, 1948-2003, is comprised of numbered lists of ideas. In some instances, the lists contain small sketches.
Series 2, Notebooks, 1960s-1970s, undated, consists of fourteen 3" x 5" spiral bound notebooks maintained by Vasquez to record his thoughts, dreams, ideas and inventions. The notebooks contain statistics, facts, newspaper clippings, motivational phrases, and other data such as how much energy an appliance uses or the qualities of a "good shop man."
Series 3, Patents, 1945-1956, is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1, United States Patents, 1945, 1947, and Subseries 2, Poor Man's Patents, 1955, 1956. The patents are arranged chronologically by patent number and there is one file folder of poor man's patents. A "poor man's patent" is when an inventor writes a description of his/her invention and mails it to themselves or someone else by regular or certified mail to protect one's invention. Unfortunately, this method does not protect an invention.
Series 4, News clippings, 1948, 1981, contain three newspaper articles from the Hartford Daily Courant about Vasquez.
Series 5, Photographs, 1948, undated, contains three black-and-white photographs; two document Vasquez, the other features his Multiple Compartment Handbag (United States Patent #2,429,856) of 1945.
Series 6, Artifacts, 1945 and 1947, contains two prototypes: a Magnetic Retainer (United States Patent #2,521,885) 1947, and a Combined Ash Tray and Holder for Smokers' Articles, 1945 (United States Design Patent #D142, 753).